Isozymes of steroid 5α-reductase (5α-reductase) have crucial roles in androgen physiology by synthesizing the potent hormone dihydrotestosterone. The expression pattern of the 5α-reductase type 2 isozyme was determined in genital and extragenital tissues by developing an immunohistochemical assay using formalin-fixed tissue and affinity purified polyclonal antibodies that specifically recognize this isozyme. Expression was detected in basal epithelial and stromal cells of the normal prostate but not in luminal epithelial cells. Stromal cells of the seminal vesicle also expressed the type 2 isozyme. In contrast, staining was detected in epithelial cells of the epididymis but not in the surrounding stroma. Myofibroblasts in foreskin samples of normal and hypospadiac individuals expressed antigen and were distributed in bands throughout the prepuce, suggesting a clonal origin. In most cells the type 2 isozyme exhibited a perinuclear subcellular distribution. However, in liver hepatocytes the protein was distributed throughout the intracellular membrane compartment.
- seminal vesicle
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